Kentucky Shakespeare Festival

Arts and Humanities
12:16 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Savage Rose Transfers Successful 'Lear' to Kentucky Shakespeare Stage

J. Barrett Cooper and Kelsey Thompson as King Lear and his daughter Cordelia in Savage Rose Classical Theatre's "King Lear."
Credit Kelly Moore / Savage Rose Classical Theatre

Kentucky Shakespeare Festival hosted its final opening night of the Central Park summer season last night with Savage Rose Classical Theatre's impressive "King Lear," anchored by a powerful performance in the starring role by out-going Savage Rose founder and artistic director J. Barrett Cooper. If you caught Savage Rose's original production this past March at Walden Theatre, there won't be many surprises, but the transfer to the larger C.

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Arts and Humanities
12:47 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Shoestring Productions Brings 'Women of Will' to Kentucky Shakespeare Fest

Chelsea Skalski as Puck and Meg Caudill as Hermia in Shoestring Productions' "Women of Will," playing this week at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.
Credit Shoestring Productions

Shakespeare's female characters include queens, maids, wives, daughters, plucky cross-dressers, tragic heroines, madwomen, shepherdesses, and charming romantic leads, but never in the same play. In the second and final week of community partner shows, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival hosts Shoestring Productions' "Women of Will" doing just that - presenting a collection of bite-sized scenes and monologues showcasing the Bard's most memorable female characters, from Desdemona to Viola, all on stage in one evening.

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Arts and Humanities
11:04 am
Sun August 10, 2014

Le Petomane Says Farewell With Cheeky Kentucky Shakespeare Comedy

Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble's 2009 production of "As You Like It," which the company remounted last week for Kentucky Shakespeare Festival and its own farewell performance.
Credit Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble

Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble’s “As You Like It” is truly the pinnacle of the company’s ten years spent perfecting the craft of comedy. As part of the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival's community partner repertory, Le Petomane puts forth a farewell show that demonstrates the cheeky self-awareness and side-splitting performances for which this endearing cast has become known.

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Arts and Humanities
3:05 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Walden Theatre Students Tackle Challenging 'Pericles' in Kentucky Shakespeare Festival

The original Walden Theatre production of "Pericles" in the Young American Shakespeare Festival, May 2014.
Credit Harlan Taylor / Walden Theatre

This summer’s Kentucky Shakespeare Festival productions have mostly favored the Bard’s better-known works— “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Hamlet,” “Henry V,” “As You Like It” and “King Lear” — but Walden Theatre goes out on a limb to stage the less-frequently produced, far-flung adventure of “Pericles.”

“Pericles,” which opened Wednesday, features the students of Walden Theatre, a youth conservatory training program with a rigorous Shakespeare intensive program. The production is directed by faculty member Julane Havens.

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Arts and Humanities
12:45 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Five Lessons from Kentucky Shakespeare's Resurrection Summer

Matt Lytle as the title character in Kentucky Shakespeare's "Henry V."
Credit Holly Stone/Kentucky Shakespeare

 Ira Glass might not be down with Shakespeare, but Louisville sure is.

After several lackluster years in which the company appeared to be in a slow decline, capped by a disastrous last summer that saw the sole main-stage show shuttered before the end of its run and leadership problems that left the storied organization re-building practically from the ground up, Kentucky Shakespeare has flourished this summer.

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Arts and Humanities
12:28 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Kentucky Shakespeare's Jon Patrick O'Brien Anchors Strong, Traditional 'Hamlet'

Jon Patrick O'Brien as Hamlet, addressing alas, poor Yorick's skull (uncredited) in Kentucky Shakespeare's "Hamlet."
Credit Holly Stone/Kentucky Shakespeare

How well we know “Hamlet,” one of Shakespeare’s most adaptable plays. The tragedy of a young man consumed with revenge for his father’s death is constantly quoted and referenced, gently parodied and violently re-imagined, its best quotes pinballing through art and pop culture. But Kentucky Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” side-steps the temptation to transform, staging a fairly traditional production anchored by Jon Patrick O’Brien’s powerful performance as the young prince.

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Arts and Humanities
3:57 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Kentucky Shakespeare Breaks Own Attendance Records in Central Park

Kentucky Shakespeare counted 707 in attendance on opening night of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the first of eight productions to run in Central Park this summer.
Credit Alix Mattingly / WFPL News

Kentucky Shakespeare is having a record-breaking summer. More than 13,000 patrons have attended the free outdoor Shakespeare performances in Louisville’s Central Park since this year’s festival opened June 12.

That tops attendance at the 2001 summer festival - 12,420 - which set the previous record, and there are still five weeks left in the current Central Park season. 

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Arts and Humanities
4:26 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

Kentucky Shakespeare's Dynamic 'Henry V' Resonates

Matt Lytle as "Henry V."
Credit Holly Stone/Kentucky Shakespeare

Kentucky Shakespeare braved the rain last night to bring their second mainstage production to Central Park. Directed by Amy Attaway, the company’s strong, energetic “Henry V” is a dynamic, fast-paced study in leadership that resonates beyond its 15th-century setting.

“Henry V” runs through July 6 with performances Tuesday-Sunday at 8 p.m. at the C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheatre in Old Louisville’s Central Park. All performances are free and feature pre-show entertainment starting at 7:30 p.m.

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Arts and Humanities
11:32 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Watch the Trailer for Kentucky Shakespeare's 'Henry V'

Kentucky Shakespeare's production of "Henry V"
Credit Kentucky Shakespeare

Kentucky Shakespeare opens its second mainstage festival production Friday in Central Park. "Henry V" is best known for its rousing St. Crispin's Day speech, but it looks like Amy Attaway's staging (with fight direction by J. Barrett Cooper) isn't pulling any fight scene punches.

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Sun June 22, 2014

Attendance Soars for Kentucky Shakespeare, Can the Company Keep It Up?

Kentucky Shakespeare counted 707 in attendance on opening night of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the first of eight productions to run in Central Park this summer.
Credit Alix Mattingly / WFPL News

Kentucky Shakespeare's return to Central Park after an abruptly-canceled run last summer is an undeniable success. If the opening week audiences for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" are any indication, the community approves of the direction new producing artistic director Matt Wallace is steering the company. This year's opening week saw a 70 percent increase over 2013, including 700 in the house for opening night and almost 900 for Saturday, June 14. 

(Update: The company is reporting a house of 1,200 for last night's performance, their largest yet.)

"I'm pretty speechless and happily overwhelmed by the success of the first week," said Wallace in an email last week. "I cannot begin to thank this community enough.  It really feels like a homecoming for many of us in the community."

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